Yisrael Katz
Yisrael KatzKobi Richter/TPS

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz on Tuesday revealed to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel is taking part in a coalition led by the United States to secure the Persian Gulf.

Katz told the members of the committee that following his visit to the United Arab Emirates, he instructed the Foreign Ministry to work with all relevant parties so that Israel can be integrated into the coalition.

He added that Israel has a clear interest in participating in the coalition as part of the strategy to curb Iranian expansion and strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Gulf states, which he leads with the backing of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

In his remarks, Minister Katz noted that Britain's announcement that it would also be part of the coalition was of great importance.

The plans to build a coalition of nations to monitor and deter Iranian threats against commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf were announced by the US following continued tensions with Iran in the region.

The Islamic Republic has threatened more than once to close the Strait of Hormuz.

In the last few years there have been several close encounters between Iranian and American vessels in the area.

More recently, tensions were exacerbated by a series of attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf which were blamed on Iran.

In another incident, Iran shot down a US drone, claiming it violated Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran later seized the British-flagged Stena Impero after the UK and Gibraltar seized the Iran-flagged tanker Grace 1 in early July on the grounds that it was attempting to transport oil to Syria, in a violation of EU sanctions.